I’ve been using LinkedIn as a professional medium for over 3 years now. Having reached more than 700 LinkedIn connections recently, I’ve come across many profile pictures on this business platform.
Here are 7 types of profiles pictures you shouldn’t use on LinkedIn and why:
1. Too serious
Having an appealing profile picture is a great way to leave a good first impression online. Smiling can help you to achieve this goal. According to various studies, smiling increases your likeability. It’s your way of saying “Hello, nice to meet you!” to the world. The point I’d like to make here is that you should avoid having a serious profile picture. Show some personality and smile! People will like you.
2. Too dark
This might be an obvious one but you’d be surprised how often people use unclear profile pictures. Make sure your profile picture looks bright and is taken from a clear angle. If you want to learn more about the different angles, or meanings images can convey, I’d advise you to read my thesis where I discuss the different metafunctions of images.
3. Too sporty
It’s not a bad idea to wear appropriate clothing. LinkedIn is a social networking site for business professionals. You can add your hobbies in the “interests” section, but that doesn’t mean you can wear a sports outfit.
4. Too much filter
LinkedIn is not Instagram. Don’t exaggerate with filters such as vintage, black-and-white or sepia, otherwise your profile picture will be perceived as unprofessional. Your picture on LinkedIn should be a nice headshot, preferably taken from a professional camera.
5. Too old
You should treat your LinkedIn profile as your living résumé. Updating your profile picture from time to time is advisable to avoid surprises during job interviews.
6. Too much everything
You should look at your current profile picture and ask yourself the following question: am I the only visible person on this picture? If the answer is “YES”, then you’re doing it right. If the answer is “NO”, you should consider taking another picture.
7. Too much sightseeing
People tend to confuse LinkedIn with Facebook. LinkedIn is for business purposes only, whereas Facebook is a showcase platform. Business professionals don’t care about your latest summer escapades. Keep it professional!
To sum up, a profile picture on LinkedIn should be a clear, professional and recent headshot. Some experts say a white background works best, but I think you can use any background as long as there’s no distraction from your face. Most importantly, remember to smile!
So, what do you think? Have I missed something? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you!